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Can we trust our computing future to apple?

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Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby I'd Rather Play » Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:27 am

Working in NYC for two weeks and promised Myself a visit to the Apple store. Imagine my excitement at entering the four floor futuristic Apple shrine/store in downtown Manhattan; the perfect place to try out a range of Mac Pros and their music capabilities with a crack apple salesperson.

How wrong I was . . .

Four floors of iPhones synced up to iPads .... And . . . . Right in the corner of the store one Mac Pro connected to a sony screen. Containing no applications and a sales man boasting I could take one away with me NOW!

best number of cores? . .. Umm not sure. . . processor speeds? . . . umm "the're all fast". Multiscreen support? .. .. Umm we don't have any spare screens to demo this feature.

Ok I'm now convinced Apple is a phone a gizmo company. So what's the best way to plan and manage a future change to a new platform?
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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby DGL. » Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:38 am

Don't plan switch now . Nokia Windows phone + Surface Pro 3, all bases covered.
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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby FrankRaz » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:36 am

Pick your favourite OS version and learn how to build a Hackintosh.
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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby Tui » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:41 am

I'd Rather Play wrote:

Four floors of iPhones synced up to iPads .... And . . . . Right in the corner of the store one Mac Pro connected to a sony screen. Containing no applications and a sales man boasting I could take one away with me NOW!

best number of cores? . .. Umm not sure. . . processor speeds? . . . umm "the're all fast". Multiscreen support? .. .. Umm we don't have any spare screens to demo this feature.

So it begins... The end.
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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby johnny h » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:45 am

How much do you think commercial rents are in downtown Manhattan? iPhones and iPads make most of the money therefore will be the most prominent products on display.

Apple offer a 14 day return policy, no questions asked. Much better to try something out yourself for 2 weeks than trust a salesman.
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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby Dave B » Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:24 am

So let's stay in the US with this - I'm recently back from living in Boston and there were at least 3 Apple stores within spitting distance. The main one for Boston proper was the familiar 'glass cube' with a few floors - mainly with the shiny-shiny front and centre. But that didn't mean that the computers weren't around - they tended to be at the sides and back. The MBP had a particularly strong presence there. Oddly enough, this same layout was in the other stores. And the ones over here ... it's almost like there's some sort of pattern emerging ... hmmnnn

So Apple stores primary focus is on the bling rather than the hardcore. Sure. But if you actually read the industry press, you would realise that the shiny things are now becoming the gateway into the Apple hardware ecosystem. Apple were a little slow to realise this but, apparently, are starting to do a little internal re-orienting to get to grips with the fact that they are now shifting good quantities of various Macs. Hopefully, this will trickle down to 'genius'es actually knowing something about the computers (apparently the ones with real knowledge are 'out the back' according to the Reading store) as well as the shiny shiny. But it's not like Apple hide the specs for the systems...

Being serious for a second, the Mac Pro has been a tough cookie for a long time. Whilst it's now in stores and readily available, it's taken a long hard slog to get there and it's been very late arriving. I chatted to some of the Boston crew about it off and on for about 6 months and they were as frustrated as we were. So even if your chap was knowledgable about the computer line, the Mac Pro may not be something that he has had much chance to really get to grips with. Especially as about 90% of customers will be asking about phones, tablets or accessories.

Hey - you want a good giggle, go into the M$ stores - they are dull, dull, dull... except for where the kids are playing xbox. But they will sell you Windows. And Office. er ... yeah ... groovy huh? er ...
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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby MarkOne » Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:50 am

The Apple store is the place they put all the shinies for the general public to ooh at and for the kids to play with on a rainy afternoon. Most Apple stores I've been in are more like little Apple themeparks full of kids. I even saw a Brownie outing at our local store, complete with laid on tuition with interactive ipad fun and face painting.

This is really what the Apple stores are about.

However, there are other places... These are called Authorised Resellers. And here you will find the sober product specialists who can give you chapter and verse on cores, bus speeds, graphics performance, etc.

I was in one a while ago to get a new battery for my ailing 2008 MBP, and while talking to one guy about my Mac, I heard another talking on the phone to a certain well known organisation about their annual multiple-seven-digit invoice. This is the sort of place that provides configured ready to go Final Cut X/Motion workstations with a couple of cinema displays to the broadcast and film industry - in not insignificant numbers.

They'll sell you an iPad, and an iPhone... But you won't see them hosting a kids party any time soon.
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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby Mixedup » Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:15 am

Well, of course they're backing the approach that's making them billions. I reckon we're in for a period of convergence. Windows is beginning to make the touch-screen thing work for serious applications with more powerful computers, and we have another major OS upgrade on that platform around the corner. Apple haven't integrated that stuff into OSX yet but have pretty much perfected the interface side of things on their consumer devices. So will we get OS11, or will we get iOS next-gen that works on serious computers with built in touch screens and tablets/phones alike? Either way, it should be enough for most of us, particularly as Internet connectivity gets faster/higher bandwidth. And for those of us who require something more complex, it's not like the ability to custom-make machines will go away. And for that market I don't think it really matters whether they're running on Win, Mac, Linux or something else... as long as the hardware side of things has decent driver support!

In the meantime, we're already there in terms of Apple taking the pro side less seriously - the latest Mac Pro lacks connectivity to the point that it might as well be a laptop. Hackintosh seems a better bet right now, but in five years' time I reckon the landscape will have changed massively.
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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby PJ20 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:03 am

I think windows is making serious upgrades as well. Apple has been the pioneer since a long time. and we see most of the music accessories bein exclusively made for apple devices. But Windows can't be ruled out.
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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby johnny h » Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:25 am

Mixedup wrote:the latest Mac Pro lacks connectivity to the point that it might as well be a laptop.
This is just a stupid statement. Thunderbolt has made big metal boxes obsolete, that's all. PCIe data goes through thunderbolt cables. PCI slots are fiddly and annoying and take up unnecessary space when not in use.

The new Mac Pro is much faster than the old one yet is compact enough to go in a small rucksack in necessary. Its a brilliant design. Only a true luddite could mourn the big heavy industrial box with 7 separate fans.
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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby niallharp » Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:49 am

Aargh! It's the end of the world! No It's not....FCX is useless! No It's not....Logic Pro will never happen! Or it'll be GarageBand Pro!... It happened and it's fab... OSX will turn into iOS!!! It hasn't. (Mavericks is the best experience I've ever had with an OS. Plain sailing all the way. Ymmv.) Apple will abandon desktops!!! No, they made 'em smaller and more powerful, and, with thunderbolt, more expandable...
Apple hasn't been Apple Computer Inc for some time. It's music distribution, telecommunications, tablets, and also computers. The Apple store is not a computer shop. Stop panicking. Apple's computer/software division is now probably larger and better resourced that at any time in it's history. Mac/OSX is the spine everything else hangs off.
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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby desmond » Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:13 pm

niallharp wrote:Aargh! It's the end of the world! No It's not....

+1
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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby Mixedup » Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:22 pm

johnny h wrote:
Mixedup wrote:the latest Mac Pro lacks connectivity to the point that it might as well be a laptop.
This is just a stupid statement. Thunderbolt has made big metal boxes obsolete, that's all. PCIe data goes through thunderbolt cables. PCI slots are fiddly and annoying and take up unnecessary space when not in use.

The new Mac Pro is much faster than the old one yet is compact enough to go in a small rucksack in necessary. Its a brilliant design. Only a true luddite could mourn the big heavy industrial box with 7 separate fans.

Nope... ^^this^^ is a stupid statement

Thunderbolt has made big metal boxes external, and made it more costly to integrate them in terms of adapter cables and hubs (some of which work, some of which don't so well...). And there are a bunch of expensive Thuderbolt devices to connect which are not actually any better in terms of performance than their PCIe/USB/Firewire counterparts. And along with it Apple have made some of those desirable external boxes cease working (eg. some of the still very relevant UAD2 models). It's a powerful machine, but other than in terms of raw power it offers none of the advantages over laptops that desktop machines always have done. So... it's a good machine for most that could have been a great one for everyone. As Mac Pros have always been. But this one isn't. A clear case of style over substance — and one reason why the commercial Hackintosh market, which I thought they'd all but killed off, appears to be flourishing once again.
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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby Urthlupe » Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:37 pm

Johnny's not all wrong there Mixedup - I can vouch for the rucksack bit... here's what happened to me last week...

My new Macpro had bust and needed a trip to the Applestore. That whole faux clinical/technical thing they got going on makes me giggle, so when I took it in I deliberately carted the iconic trashcan Macpro, dumped in my old red rucksack. It was also a practical solution to be fair. They were gobsmacked when I emptied it out onto the genius bar - apparently only the second they'd seen so seventeen year old Trixi DoodaGeek told me. All so good and funny, then last week I went to collect it....

When I'd dropped it off they had examined it minutely for scratches, and there was a tiny, almost invisible mark which it occurred to me might have been from the rucksack zip. So as I left home I picked up my dirty T-shirt from from the previous day thinking it'd be ideal to slip over the Macpro. I get to the store and the guy has carried it out to me at the bar cradled in his arms, we have a crowd of four assistants and he asks me if I have anything to put it in. So I flourish the rucksack and whipped out the T-shirt. I had not realised that in picking up the shirt I had also collected the previous days dirty underpants which looped neatly into the air and fell squarely between us onto the hallowed 'Genius Surface'. Very wrinkly, and slightly discoloured at the crotch I noticed. We all stared at them for some seconds, in silence, before I bundled them back into the rucksack and left. I must admit to wondering exactly how many people worldwide have had the honour of getting their skidmarks out at the 'Genius Bar'. I'm thinking a club of one.

Do I get the prize for uncool?

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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby johnny h » Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:36 pm

Mixedup wrote:A clear case of style over substance — and one reason why the commercial Hackintosh market, which I thought they'd all but killed off, appears to be flourishing once again.
So why get upset about it? If you want a bulky old box, then you can have one. If you want something for the future, the new Mac Pro is here.

Sound cards are almost always external and have been for many years so that isn't an issue. Why get your knickers in such a twist over a hard drive case - are you saying you can afford 4 grand for a Mac Pro but not the 15 quid extra for an external rather than internal drive? Or is one USB cable more of an inconvenience than having to deal with a machine 10 times the size and weight?
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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby Richie Royale » Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:03 pm

Urthlupe wrote:
Do I get the prize for uncool?

Loopy

No, you get a prize for having one of the best anecdotes in the Mac forum.
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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby ef37a » Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:39 pm

Don't know macs but, how can a salesperson not know specifications? Only has to run Speccy!


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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby Mixedup » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:09 pm

Sigh. You're confusing being 'upset about it' with 'expressing a considered opinion about it'. I don't own one: I considered it and decided against it. I do have a few powerful big old boxes as it happens. I also have 'the future' in the form of a modern MacBook Pro. The current Mac Pro just strikes me as a half-way house. Neither as powerful and configurable as one; nor as portable and versatile as the other. The 'future' is, I suspect, better represented by the iPad, Surface, and MacBook Air, despite their current relative lack of power.
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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby SecretSam » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:33 am

First proper laugh all week: thanks for that, Urthlupe.
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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby domx » Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:09 pm


A clear case of style over substance — and one reason why the commercial Hackintosh market, which I thought they'd all but killed off, appears to be flourishing once again.


after i spent 10 minutes asking 4 separate people at an Apple Store if i could pay for a hard drive id got off the shelf in 10 seconds (no joy), I vowed never to set foot in one again

I got a Trashcan Mac recently (from Jigsaw, want a pro machine, speak to proper people). And it was a pain to upgrade my system. Had to sell my UAD-2 duo and quad cards, as only the Octo works in a pci-e TB chassis (300 quid for a box! and that took me 3 days to get it up and running). Had to get an external storage system as my SSD/HD internal drives were now pretty redundant.


BUT....

it really, really, REALLY shifts, everything is bullet fast, i also do video/animation in 3d and this thing devours heavy tasks, especially adobe and apple based apps which have been updated to take advantage of new addressing system, all rock solid AND even under ten times the strain that would have made my silver box roar in protest, you cant actually tell the thing is on, no noise, no heat. thunderbolt is a ridculousy powerful transfer protocol. id never go back

the update was a pain, and a cost, but then i moaned when SCSI, floppy drives and serial ports went the way of the dodo

IMHO thats a lot of substance, a serious, serious machine and the way forward. i can chose my I/O, storage and it doesn't have to live inside the machine meaning I have some great lump that sounds like a jet engine. this thing sits on my desk and I've don't even notice it anymore

each to their own, but dont think this isn't serious kit.

on the other hand i do agree, do yourself a favour and never go near an apple store again
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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby RustyKazoo » Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:11 pm

Urthlupe wrote:Johnny's not all wrong there Mixedup - I can vouch for the rucksack bit... here's what happened to me last week...

Do I get the prize for uncool?

Loopy

Genius story Thank you for posting it!
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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:27 pm

domx wrote: ...each to their own, but dont think this isn't serious kit.

I don't think anyone is suggesting it isn't a powerful machine. Indeed, there'd have to be something seriously wrong if it wasn't a major step forward in processing power from the previous generation. Moore's Law and all that...

The complaints are over the 'inconveniences' and additional expense imposed by the new physical design which forces everything to be external and renders some existing internal hardware cards redundant -- as you have suffered yourself.

If you have the money and are willing to accept the 'inconveniences' for the improved performance, that's fine. Others don't quite see it that way and may prefer to look at other options. Apple aren't the only people making silent powerful computers.

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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby desmond » Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:48 pm

The concepts of "Trust" and "Big Corporations" don't necessarily go together well.

I'm not sure it's really a "trust" relationship - you buy products from companies that have value for you and can make work, and over time these things change, sometimes in small ways, sometimes in larger ways.

But in any case, if not Apple, who *would* you "trust" - Microsoft? Sun? Samsung? Google..? Surely they are all different sides of very similar looking coins?

For me, Apple, Macs and OSX works very well, and better than anything provided by other manufacturers - and that includes third-party support in terms of software and hardware. If that starts to change, I will re-evaluate, and decide whether to stick, move forward or start again, at the appropriate time with an appropriate plan.

That's how it's always been, I think...
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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby Mixedup » Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:15 pm

It's not so much the Apple versus MS debate. That's a whole different pot aux poissons.

Neither is it a problem with the Mac Pro itself. As it stands, it's a very capable, quiet machine.

It's more that Apple have opted not to also offer a model which is more configurable and — at least for those who prefer tidy work areas! — which doesn't require a gazillion cables, adapters and hubs to be attached to make it fit for some users' purposes. That's a change — it used to be that you could configure a Mac Pro with whatever tasty options you saw on the menu. Same goes for my MBP. An excellent and fast machine. It's processor and RAM should service me well for a few years yet. But I'd like to be able to upgrade other elements as and when better things become more affordable. I sued to be able to do that on previous generation models. On this one, I can't.

There's always this, I suppose. But with that plus a Mac Pro plus a UAD octo to replace the pair of quads... well, things are starting to get rather pricey even for a Mac!
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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby johnny h » Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:29 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
domx wrote: ...each to their own, but dont think this isn't serious kit.

I don't think anyone is suggesting it isn't a powerful machine.
The accusation of "style of substance" implies Apple have sacrificed performance in order to design a more attractive machine. It is impossible to build a PC machine using the same quality components for the same price as a Mac Pro. Thunderbolt, portability and quietness can't be matched at any cost.

Apple aren't the only people making silent powerful computers.
Nobody is even close to matching the combination of performance, size and quietness of the Mac Pro.

People proclaimed the end of the world over the demise of floppy, scsi, cd rom. Now the time is up for big boxes of empty PCIe slots and drive bays.
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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby Mixedup » Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:43 pm

johnny h wrote:Thunderbolt, portability and quietness can't be matched at any cost.

Ah Johnny. It's the way you tell 'em...

Thunderbolt Mobos have been around for what feels like aeons. You can stick them in any box that can hold them, and they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Building quiet machines is not too tough since the price of SSDs started tumbling. And last time I checked Apple were still using common or garden processors that can be used in any Windows build. And building ones that will run OXS isn't that tricky either.

And portable? You are joking? You can cart around the 'core' parts of any computer easily enough. But you still have to dock them at a screen and in a nest of tangled cables everywhere you want to do anything you can't already do on a laptop.
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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby johnny h » Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:03 pm

Mixedup wrote:
johnny h wrote:Thunderbolt, portability and quietness can't be matched at any cost.

Ah Johnny. It's the way you tell 'em...

Thunderbolt Mobos have been around for what feels like aeons.
Thunderbolt purely for data transfer, yes. Thunderbolt with display, no. Which is important if you don't like lots of cables.

You can stick them in any box that can hold them, and they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
All sorts of massive ugly shapes and sizes. No comparable motherboard or case exists for server quality components.

Building quiet machines is not too tough since the price of SSDs started tumbling.
If its not too tough, why hasn't anyone matched the Mac Pro for quietness?
And last time I checked Apple were still using common or garden processors that can be used in any Windows build. And building ones that will run OXS isn't that tricky either.
You can't buy those components for the cost of the Mac Pro. Some people have tried it.

And portable? You are joking? You can cart around the 'core' parts of any computer easily enough. But you still have to dock them at a screen and in a nest of tangled cables everywhere you want to do anything you can't already do on a laptop.
You don't need any cables other than the power and display for it to work just fine. Maybe a usb hard drive too if your OCD can handle it.
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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby RustyKazoo » Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:19 pm

I think the whole industry is going to move in the same direction. To state the obvious, tablets and phones are closing the gap to current PCs in terms of computing power and they are more portable. All the current Macs are very capable machines, which I think makes the Pro seem even more niche (from an audio hobbyist standpoint) although I understand the irritation if you have investment in internal hardware.

I'm a (long in the tooth) software developer, and after absorbing much of Apple's recent developer conference, I was very encouraged. I think the future of the "computing platform" is safer with Apple than others as they are still innovating the core OS and also taking cross-device access to data in new directions. They are also modernising their development tools which should hopefully see benefits for third party software developers, eventually At least it appears as though they have some underlying strategy, which I think is missing from the other camps at the moment, albeit one that seems aimed more at the consumer market.

My main short-term worry is that they seem to be expecting everyone to be permanently internet connected with high speed unlimited bandwidth, so I think you will see a move to get all your audio in the cloud so it is accessible for all your devices.
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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby G-Doubleyou » Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:03 pm

It's a great machine for video, video cards are mostly unused when doing audio.

For small project studio, it's a question of value.
If you need new peripherals, or expensive PCIe card enclosures added expense, when do you see a return on investment.

I'm considering adding a Mac Mini for hosting VIs using VEP 5 ( http://www.vsl.co.at/en/65/71/1988/1677.vsl ), leaving my quad i7 MBP free for mixing.

Some people with large orchestral templates use multiple Minis, to spread the load.

Maybe a Hack with a Thunderbolt motherboard, is in my future.


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Re: Can we trust our computing future to apple?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:04 pm

johnny h wrote:If its not too tough, why hasn't anyone matched the Mac Pro for quietness?

Er... The PC I'm sat next to right now is totally silent. No fans, no drive whirs, no hums, nada. Totally silent. Not a particularly big deal these days.

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